Bivalves that trick fishes, carnivorous bivalves, bivalves that form reefs and other bizarre bivalves! I learnt so much during the Bivalve Workshop today.
Today is the last series of fascinating lectures by Dr Tan Koh Siang of the Tropical Marine Science Institute who is conducting the Workshop: Introduction to Tropical Bivalves. We were astonished by the amazing adaptations of some freshwater bivalves who trick fishes into coming close enough so the mama clam can 'bomb' the fish with its living larvae. These larvae need to latch onto fishes to avoid being swept away to the sea. Some of these larvae are also parasites, sucking on the blood of fish gills when the fish eats them.
Dr Tan also shared this video clip of a freshwater mussel producing a superconglutinate, or a cluster of clam babies held on a mucus strip. This wiggles in the stream current and resembles a yummy little fish. When a predatory fish eats the lure, the clam babies get into the fish's gills. Eeks.
And here's another kind of tiny 'Sulphide-mining' bivalve that has a super long foot used to 'suck up' sulphides to feed the sulphur reducing bacteria in their bodies. It reminds me of plant roots.
Heart cockle (Corculum cardissa). This pretty bivalve harbours symbiotic zooxanthellae that can produce food from sunlight.
Scintilla clams (Family Galeommatidae) on our shores. They have a long foot, lots of tentacles and can hop and creep about quite actively. There are also clams that can 'surf' the waves, riding an incoming wave to get to the high shore, and an outgoing wave to get back to deeper water. We sometimes see these Donax clams (Family Donacidae) on our shores too.
Venus clams (Family Veneridae) come in a bewildering variety of patterns and colours. We need to look carefully to tell them apart!
Watering pot shell (Verpa penis) because of the perforated cap on the bottom of the shell. The only sign of its 'bivalviness' is a tiny pair of valves embedded on the tubular shell. I learnt today that these are the remains of the larval shell.
Giant Clam Girl) and Kareen show everyone their work on the Fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa). Here's Mei Lin showing everyone the mama and papa Giant clams.
repopulate our reefs. We will learn more about this wonderful effort during their presentation tomorrow. But here's some information about their work.
Tomorrow, we will learn more about the ecological role of bivalves, and bivalve aquaculture. There sure is a lot to find out about fascinating bivalves!